UBS forex trader Michael Agaisse reinstated after probe

UBS Foreign-Exchange Trades

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Swiss bank UBS has reinstated one of the US traders it suspended as part of an investigation into alleged misbehaviour in the global currencies markets.

Michael Agaisse was suspended in early 2014. He returned to his post trading major currencies at the bank in Stamford, Connecticut, two weeks ago. Reached by phone, Mr Agaisse declined to comment. UBS also declined to comment.

The reinstatement is highly unusual and thought to be a first for UBS, which suspended or fired several traders from late 2013 onwards in relation to a sprawling global probe into the foreign-exchange market that has now largely drawn to a close.

UBS has paid $1.14bn in fines to various regulators around the world to settle allegations that its traders sought to manipulate the market.

Lloyds Banking Group, which has not been fined in relation to the forex probe, reinstated one trader, Martin Chantree, in June 2014.

All told, six banks have paid a combined total of $9.4bn of fines over alleged inappropriate behaviour.

Several other currencies’ traders caught up in the suspensions and firings from various banks are challenging the terms of being removed from their posts. Some are also bringing legal challenges against UK financial watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority, arguing that they were unfairly identified.

From a separate investigation, the FCA this week dropped its investigation into JPMorgan’s “London whale” Bruno Iksil, whose trades led to $6.2bn in losses for the bank. An independent panel found that the Financial Conduct Authority did not have enough evidence to proceed with a civil action against Mr Iksil.

Gary Beal